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Message From the Director

As we move further into the 21st century, the victim services field continues to gather and analyze information about victims’ needs and how providers can deliver services that work best for victims. Given the emerging challenges faced by the field, there is a need not only for excellence in all facets of victim services, but also for the delivery of consistent, high-quality services.

This publication, Achieving Excellence: Model Standards for Serving Victims & Survivors of Crime (Model Standards), is an update to a document published in 2003 by the University of South Carolina and the National Victim Assistance Standards Consortium, with support from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). The Consortium, consisting of a diverse group of victims and victim service practitioners representing the crime victims movement, first came together in 1999 to form a common understanding about model standards for victim services. OVC reconvened the Consortium in 2010 to reexamine and update these standards and ensure that they accurately reflect the needs of victims and the field. Model Standards represents the views generated by this second meeting of the Consortium; OVC intends to modify and update these standards as necessary, and to offer training and technical assistance to support the adoption of these standards by the victim services field. I want to emphasize that this publication is not a blueprint for how to provide services; it simply offers recommendations for guidelines, policies, and procedures that victim service organizations should have in place, as well as competency and ethical standards to promote excellence in victim service provision.

I want to give special thanks to Dana DeHart, from the University of South Carolina, for facilitating the work of the Consortium and the development of both the initial Model Standards and this updated publication. If you have any questions about this publication, please contact the OVC Resource Center. We hope that you will use Model Standards to inform and improve your methods of service delivery to meet the needs of your communities and all of its victims.

Joye E. Frost
Office for Victims of Crime